Foundation (Foundation book 1)
by Isaac Asimov
This book is part of a reading challenge I was given by my boyfriend this year. Each year we challenge each other to read books one of us likes and the other one has never read before. We clash a lot since we generally don’t like same genres and themes. You can see what we chose for this year challenge HERE. This being said I did not expect much of this book. I picked it up to get something done on my list of reading challenges.
This book is a perfect example of speculative fiction at its finest. After I read it I had to do a bit research on it as well. First time it was published as a set of stories in a magazine from 1942 to 1950. These stories were latter published and edited as a first three books of the Foundation series. This series was in 1966. given the Hugo Award for a “Best All-Time Series”. Never before or after has any book series won this award! One of the runner ups for this award was Lord of the Rings trilogy. All other books in the series were written and added much latter in the 1980-ties.
At first I was amazed at how much I actually enjoyed the story. The premise of mathematical calculation used as a way of predicting future thousands of years in advance was much more engaging read than I expected it to be.
The concept of Hari Seldon’s Crises was startlingly thought provoking. It is very comforting to think that a crisis of social and political situation would eventually leave only one possible, inevitable, course of action. In the today world of palpable panic and stress provoking environment added by media this is a calming way of thinking indeed.
Taking into consideration the time these stories were written I enjoyed them more for it. I could not help but have a critical approach and some might call it splitting hairs but I must mention some things that made me stop with four stars rating instead of five.
I couldn’t help but notice that even in the thousands of years distant future one of the most popular things would be smoking cigars and enjoying fine tobacco. As the time passes in the book; characters that were decades and more apart kept indulging in smoking some kind of cigars.
For now I will not be reading other books in the Foundation series. I will be happy and pleased with this one I’ve read and satisfied with how much I liked it. I have new found appreciation for reading classics of the SF genre from now on. And if the talks of HBO series based on the books is true I might even give it a try!